What does identity really mean?

Identity; Identity can mean so many different things and I think everyone has a different opinion on it.

To me, it means who you are when no one is around. Some people are afraid to show their true colors in front of people. I think these people are losing their identity. Others, can conform in some ways but with out losing themselves. I am one of these peoples. I am always true to myself and don’t change for anyone but who I’m around decides how much of myself I put out there.

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I am, Nicole Elizabeth Rossi, but my true identity is so much more in depth. I value a lot of different things but there are a few that are more important to me than the others. These are honesty, trustworthiness, dedication, and respect. I’ve learned how important honesty and trustworthiness are. I want people to see me as a honest person they can trust. You can’t be two faced or lie and still expect to have people want to be involved with you.

It gets you no where. You can’t have good relationships with your family, friends, or work if you aren’t honest and trustworthy. Dedication is something I know a lot about. Between owning and training horses, I’ve learned that nothing works out if you don’t give it you all. Respect also means a lot to me.

I think respect is everything. You need to respect your friends, family, people of authority, and animals. Everyone and everything should be treated with respect. Another part of respect in my life is my horse. If we don’t respect each other we can’t do anything successfully.

These four things are the most important to me because I want everyone to see me as a honest, dedicated, respectful person, they can trust. Love, laugh, and ride. This is pretty much what my life is about. My horse, Polo, is my life and I would be a totally different person without him. He has really shaped me into who I am.

He’s taught me that whatever doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger. He’s also taught me to stick to it even if you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. In the time I’ve had him we have been through a lot, from tragedy to success and back. I owe a lot to what has made me who I am today to Polo but also just riding horses in general. I started when I was eight and have never looked back.

In my opinion, nothing and no one can teach you more about yourself than a horse you know well. Horses take a long time to bond with but once they trust you and you’ve formed something special between you, they sometimes know you better than you know yourself. They become very in tune with people they trust. I’m lucky with my horse. We have an unbreakable bond that I’m sure a lot of riders wish they had.

I’ve sacrificed a lot to give my horse a great life but I wouldn’t change it for anything. In my time I’ve loved and lost more horses than I’d like to think about but one horse in particular really taught me a lot, about how to live, how to die, and how to move on. This horse, Riley, wasn’t mine on paper but in my heart he was. He meant the world to me. Sadly, last year, he tragically died.

Receiving this news, I remember feeling like I just wanted to die with him. Without him I didn’t know how to move on. He was always who I turned to when things got tough but he wasn’t there for this one. As hard as it was loosing him and as hard as it is living without him, it has showed me that even though you lose things in life, time keeps going, with or without you so you need to just pick yourself up and move on. Any time I’m down I think of the good times and I live for him. Along with how to live, love, and let go, riding has taught me so much more.

It has made me very persistent. I basically taught my horse everything he knows and teaching a 1200 pound, confused, horse with a mind of his own is hard but you need to just work through the problems as they come. There are also a lot of people who have taught me and shaped me into who I am as well. My trainer, Meg being one of them. She has helped me overcome a lot of things, horse and non horse related.

She has helped me the whole way with Polo and I would have completely different views on a lot of things if she hadn’t been a part of my life. More people who have helped me become me are my family and friends. I wouldn’t be the same without them in my life. Fights with friends, family arguments, deaths, and losses, have showed me a lot. You need to know how to love, live, and laugh even when your world is crashing down around you.

On the other hand, I’m very independent but when I need someone I know I have my family, friends, trainer, and horses to fall back on. I’ve been lucky in my life because most of it has been good and when its not I have great people and animals who support me one hundred percent. I would be a totally different person if I didn’t go through things I have and if I didn’t have these amazing people in my life.